Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs
Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs is a perfect summer lunch for anyone who enjoys garbanzo beans! This easy tasty salad is gluten-free, vegetarian, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Salads Index to find more salad ideas!
For people with vegetable gardens, we’re approaching the time of year when nearly every meal needs to include some kind of salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, right? Of course, tomatoes, cucumbers, and Feta are a classic Greek Salad combination, but what makes this Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs so memorable is the marinated garbanzo beans and the use of fresh herbs to add flavor to the salad.
The original salad (from 2009!) had fresh oregano, which I do think is an acquired taste, and when I made this recently to take new photos I had some of those big basil plants from Trader Joe’s sitting in my window, so I opted for fresh basil this time. But fresh oregano, fresh basil or fresh parsley would all be great here, so use what you have.
If you’re a low-glycemic eater, the addition of garbanzo beans bumps this up to a main-dish salad, and this would be tasty for a light dinner during the summer. You could replace the garbanzos with a lower-carb protein option like diced chicken if you wanted a low-carb option for this recipe, only marinating the chicken for about 30 minutes. Or if you’re a low-carb or Keto diet follower, skip this salad and check out the archives to find a salad that works for you!
But if you’re making this cucumber and tomato salad with the garbanzo beans, please don’t skip the step of marinating the garbanzos in balsamic vinegar for that extra flavor boost. I’ve made this plenty of times with regular balsamic vinegar, but when I made it recently to update the photos I used white balsamic vinegar, which didn’t add any color to the beans. Both ways are great, but if you have white balsamic vinegar I’d definitely use it for a prettier salad.
I’m a fan of canned garbanzo beans, but they need to be rinsed well with cold water (until no more foam appears) and then drained in a colander for at least 15 minutes. (I pick off the chickpea skins when the beans are draining, and sometimes blot dry with paper towels if I need to speed up the draining step.) While beans drain, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Spike Seasoning (or another seasoning of your choice). When beans are well drained, place them in a in small Ziploc bag, add the marinade mixture, and let beans marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours (or longer.) It’s important to use good quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar here since there’s not a lot of other seasoning in the salad.
When you’re ready for chopping the tomatoes and cucumbers, let the marinated garbanzo beans drain, saving the reserved dressing. Taste the dressing for seasoning, adding more vinegar and olive oil if you don’t have at least 3 T of dressing. (We added 2 T more olive oil and 1 T more vinegar, but you might want less dressing.) Even if you don’t have a garden, this is a recipe where it’s important to have fresh, flavorful tomatoes and fresh small cucumbers. I use equal parts tomatoes and cucumbers, but you can vary the proportions depending on what you have. If you use larger tomatoes that are extra juicy, I’d drain tomatoes in a colander for a few minutes.
I used my favorite herb scissors to cut the basil into nice thin strips. Put tomatoes and cucumbers into a bowl and mix in drained garbanzos, chopped basil (or other herbs), and reserved dressing. Then season the salad with salt and pepper, add Feta and toss salad to gently mix.
Serve the Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs right away, with a little more Feta to add at the table if desired. This will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two, but the tomatoes are more flavorful and cucumbers are crisper when it’s freshly made.
Make it a Meal:
More Salad Ideas with Cucumbers and Tomatoes:
Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt Tahini Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salad ~ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tomato, Cucumber, Feta, and Olive Salad ~ Tidy Mom
Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chopped Turkish Salad ~ Give Recipe
Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs
If you like salads with beans this Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs is a perfect summer lunch!
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed and drained well
- 2 T balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar, but any good tasting balsamic vinegar will work.)
- 3 T good quality extra virgin olive oil (You will probably need more olive oil and balsamic vinegar to add to the dressing when it’s drained off the beans after marinating.)
- 1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional; use any good all-purpose seasoning blend instead of Spike if you prefer.)
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (drained in colander if the tomatoes are extra juicy)
- 1 1/2 cups diced cucumbers with skin on
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, parsley, or oregano (I used my herb scissors to get nice slivers of basil for the salad.)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta, plus more to add at the table if desired
- Put garbanzo beans in colander and rinse very well until no more foam appears. (I like to remove any chickpea skins that come off when you’re rinsing the beans but that’s totally optional.)
- Let beans drain at least 15 minutes. (I sometimes pat them dry with a paper towel if I’m in a hurry and they seem quite wet.)
- Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Spike Seasoning with a whisk.
- Place beans in small Ziploc bag, pour dressing over and marinate beans in refrigerator 4-6 hours or longer.
- When you’re ready to prepare the salad, remove beans from refrigerator and drain them in a colander, reserving the dressing.
- Taste dressing for seasoning, and if you don’t think you have enough dressing, add a bit more balsamic vinegar and olive oil. (We added 2 T more olive oil and 1 T more balsamic vinegar, but you might want less dressing; decide how wet you prefer your salads.)
- Dice tomatoes and if they’re extra juicy, put in colander to drain while you prepare other ingredients.
- Cut cucumbers into fourths lengthwise, and then into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. (If cucumbers seem wet, pat dry with paper towel.)
- Put basil or other herbs into salad spinner and wash, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and cut with herb scissors or coarsely chop using a chef’s knife.
- Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, garbanzo beans and basil in a bowl and toss with reserved salad dressing.
- Season salad with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, then gently mix in the crumbled Feta.
- Serve right away, with more Feta to add at the table if desired.
This recipe inspired by The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook, with lots of adaptations by Kalyn.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe is suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet, since low-glycemic beans are considered to be a “good” carb for South Beach. Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans might be too high in carbs for other low-carb eating plans, but you could make this lower in carbs by using more cucumbers and less beans and tomatoes.
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